Official release: Visitors to the Techno Classica 2017 in Essen will find a unique diversity of vehicles, components and services from the sphere of historic automobiles and motorcycles. From 5 April to 9 April 2017, the trade fair complex in Essen will once again be the meeting point for the international classic car scene. BMW Group Classic will be opening up completely new perspectives this year for visitors to the world’s biggest specialist exhibition for classic cars. The highlights from the history of the company are not simply being presented at a new location. They can be found behind a facade with an exceptional decorative design. The focus there is on particularly striking innovations from the company’s model and technology history. Twelve pioneering vehicles from the years 1936 to 1995 tell this story under the motto of “Our DNA: Innovation”. Together with visitors to the exhibition, BMW Group Classic looks back on developments such as 40 years of the BMW 7 Series and the introduction of the twelve-cylinder engine in luxury saloons 30 years ago.

Renovation work means that this year the exhibition presentation by BMW Group Classic is taking place in the temporary Hall 14 at the eastern entrance to the exhibition complex. It is very obvious from afar where rare treasures from the history of BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad are gathered together. The outer walls of Hall 14 have large-scale images showing the historic buildings of the Munich Headquarters of BMW Group Classic.

40 years of luxury driving pleasure through the prism of the 7 Series.

40 years of BMW’s 7 Series is one of the landmark anniversaries being celebrated at Techno Classica this year. Up until 1977, the “Grand Series” was the epitome of sportiness and luxurious comfort in the brand’s model range. The nomenclature still used today was also applied to the top models of BMW at that time. The figure 7 in the model designation is now already in the sixth generation, standing for sheer driving pleasure, exclusivity and innovation at the apogee of the vehicle range of BMW.

Seven paradigmatic examples from the history of the luxury saloon are being presented at the Techno Classica 2017, including a second-generation BMW 7 Series styled by fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, a film-starred vehicle from the 1997 James Bond thriller film “Tomorrow never Dies”, a prototype powered by a 16-cylinder engine and the latest top model in the range – the BMW M760Li xDrive.

Debut 30 years ago: The first German twelve-cylinder model from the post-war period.

A sensational innovation that broke new ground was concealed under the engine bonnet of the second generation of the BMW 7 Series. The BMW 750i launched in 1987 was the first twelve-cylinder engine to emerge from a German automobile manufacturer in the post-war era. The power unit with a capacity of 5 litres generated maximum power of 300 hp and proved a source of fascination right from the start. The engine’s silky smooth running characteristics underpinned the aspiration of the brand to occupy a leading position in the luxury segment.

To this day, the twelve-cylinder engine has remained the ultimate engine for power, silent running and image. Precisely 30 years after its debut, the latest interpretation has a distinctly sporty feel coupled with a high level of everyday practicality and unconstrained comfort for epic journeys. The 6.6 litre twelve-cylinder engine mounted in the BMW 760Li xDrive (combined fuel consumption: 12.8 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 294 g/km) generates maximum power of 448 kW/610 hp and accelerates the BMW M Performance Model of the BMW 7 Series from zero to 100 km/h in just 3.7 seconds.

Presented 30 years ago: The BMW Z1 roadster.

At the International Motor Show (IAA) in 1987, BMW presented not only the BMW 750iL with a twelve-cylinder engine but also the BMW Z1 roadster. The two-seater with a front mid-engine, retractable doors, steel monocoque and plastic outer skin had been developed by BMW Technik GmbH. The specialists for research and technology innovations had conceptualised the BMW Z1 as a pilot project for innovative vehicle structures and materials. Simultaneously, they continued the iconic roadster tradition of the brand that had been neglected since the legendary BMW 507.

The BMW Z1 encountered an enthusiastic reception at its premiere. And the initial test drives confirmed the impression conveyed by the design. The roadster benefited from exceptional agility owing to the inline six-cylinder engine generating 125 kW/170 hp, the high-quality chassis and the perfectly balanced axle-load distribution. Between 1988 and 1991, some 8 000 units of the BMW Z1 were supplied. Today, every one of the cars produced is regarded as a collectible.

Motor-sport anniversary: Four decades of youth development.

The BMW group is also celebrating a landmark anniversary in the sphere of motor sport. The BMW Junior Team was launched in 1977 and the beginnings of the team are being celebrated at Techno Classica in 2017 with a BMW 320 constructed on the basis of Group 5 rules.

BMW Motorsport GmbH transformed a pioneering concept for supporting talented young drivers when it set up this team. The first generation of BMW Juniors included Swiss driver Marc Surer, Manfred Winkelhock from Germany and Eddie Cheever from the US. More recently, BMW’s junior development programme has frequently formed a springboard for exceptional racing careers. Drivers who have gathered their early circuit-racing experience in this programme include Formula 1 World Champions Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg, and German Touring Car Champions (DTM) Marco Wittmann and Martin Tomczyk.

The most spectacular motor-sport success in the history of the MINI brand is also celebrated in Essen. 50 years ago, Finnish racing driver Rauno Aaltonen achieved overall victory in the classic Mini at the Monte Carlo Rally. In January 1967, Aaltonen drove his Mini Cooper S across the Monaco finishing line in a bravura end to the race. After 1964 and 1965, the little car from the United Kingdom had long since been elevated to the status of darling of the public. This was the third time that the Mini had succeeded in beating the significantly more powerful competition.

“Club Stories”: from classic cars, their owners and their history.

Apart from this year’s special anniversaries, BMW Group Classic is also presenting lots of other unusual vehicles from all the eras in the history of BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad. The exceptionally diverse range of exhibits in Essen is due not least to the efforts of BMW and the Mini Clubs. Once again, they have played a leading role in putting together the collection for the exhibition of historic vehicles.

Their dedication to engineering and tradition makes the members of the clubs authentic ambassadors for each particular brand. They demonstrate this enthusiasm with their commitment to caring for their precious treasures and their willingness to share their expert knowledge with newcomers to the classic scene. Their passion is reflected in exciting stories of discovery, restoration and not least driving valuable classic cars. They provide the content for the “Club Stories” that are retold at Techno Classica 2017. These tales provide a particularly vibrant picture of the pleasure to be gained from being passionate about historic vehicles.

Outlook: BMW Group Classic presents the programme of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2017.

BMW Group Classic in Hall 14 provides all the classic car fans gathered in Essen with an insight into the upcoming highlight in the calendar of the international classic scene. This year, the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este will once again attract owners and fans of particularly precious beauties on two and four wheels to Lake Como in Northern Italy. From 26 to 28 May 2017, the delightful grounds of Villa d’Este and neighbouring Villa Erba will provide the backdrop for the world’s most traditional and exclusive beauty contest for historic automobiles and motorcycles.

The year the event is being held under the motto of “Around the World in 80 Days – Voyage through an Era of Records” and connects the beginnings of automobile history with the recent past. The vehicle class of Concept Cars and Prototypes also represents the present and future of automobile construction. The historic cars accepted for the competition compete in eight classes for the favour of the international Jury and the general public. Classic motorcycles are presented in five competition categories and also in a Special Exhibition.